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Old 02-09-2013, 07:06 PM  
SNR SNR is offline
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The new high speed rail map that's been floating around recently



High speed rail is moving forward in California, but progress is pretty stagnant around the rest of the country. Still, there are a lot of proposals out there, and when placed on one map, they form an impressive rail network. This map was put together by California Rail Map, led by Alfred Twu, which combined existing proposals from high speed rail advocacy groups around the US. Twu described his process for the Guardian:

Instead of detailing construction phases and service speeds, I took a little artistic license and chose colors and linked lines to celebrate America's many distinct but interwoven regional cultures.

The US High Speed Rail Association, a nonprofit trade association, predicts a network similar to this one could be in place by 2030.

Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood has called for a large HSR network, saying it could link 80 percent of Americans within 25 years, for $500 billion.
Based on this map, starting in Los Angeles, a high speed train could get to New York, with stops in Denver and Chicago, in well under 18 hours.

Considering the significant funding and political will any large rail project needs, it's hard to imagine all this will be built. But Robert Cruickshank at the California High Speed Rail Blog argues just visualizing the network is a good thing:

But before the Interstate Highway System was authorized, it had to first be conceptualized on a map. This map gets us closer to the goal of an interstate high speed rail system by showing us what it looks like. And envisioning such a system is the first step toward building it.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/map-o...#ixzz2KSS4Sw1Q
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #106
chiefzilla1501 chiefzilla1501 is offline
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I do not believe that building said rail would reduce the need to use highways, or reduce congestion in any meaningful way.
Definitely a tough sell on visibly reducing congestion. Completely disagree on reducing demand for highways. The biggest value is in this being a viable alternative for long car travel, but maybe too short a plane ride to justify the hassle or expense. I don't know why you keep insisting that Midwesterners love their cars. Especially in a new era of multitasking where I'm sure people would rather read a book, fiddle with their phone or Internet vs spending four hours fixated on the road. Plus as gas goes up, the cost savings of driving don't add up the way they used to. Again... I know people who commute 1-2 hours so their family can live in a better area. I know tons of Midwesterners who constantly commute to see their girlfriend. I can assure you that the regular commute is exhausting.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:43 PM   #107
Aries Walker Aries Walker is offline
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It's not just Midwesterners. Americans in general love our cars. The whole image of hopping in your convertible, yanking your tie loose, and hitting the open road while Steppenwolf blares is a national characteristic.

But yes, as someone who commutes through DC traffic every day, and had a 90-minute-each-way commute for five years, it is thoroughly exhausting.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:56 PM   #108
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Well, you're wrong. Read How Capitalism Saved America by DiLorenzo and you'll find that roads were built by private interests before then; that most infrastructure projects have been boondoggles. The problem with the word "infrastructure" is that it keeps expanding to include more and more things that were not always part of "infrastructure." Now it's healthcare.
I agree with you on this. Let me be clear about something. I do not want empty infrastructure projects with limited value-add. Yes, we need to repair and maintain our infrastructure (roads/bridges), because there is a cost to the risk of not doing it. The reason I am intrigued by HSR is that I believe there is value-add. Infrastructure should enable people/businesses to do things they couldn't previously do, and it should do so in a significant enough manner that it justifies the cost and resources put into doing it. I am intrigued by an HSR only because I believe the overall value it provides could justify the cost.

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Yes, I know, pro-federal government growth. It's not the govt's job to enable business Mr. Hamilton. The issue is, we're bankrupt. Yet we have so-called self-labeled "fiscal conservatives" calling for more spending either because it's a small amount or whatever. A fiscal conservative knows how to say "no" to such arguments as yours and others. They would be like Scrooge. At least for the time being.
Bankruptcy is a function of both having too much cost and not bringing in enough revenue. Fiscal conservatism doesn't have to be about rubber-stamping every last initiative that brings expense. It's about demanding that projects be evaluated on true ROI. Scrooge would be terrible at running a business. Scrooge is a guy who hoards cash or refuses to invest money back into his company.

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Business growth is based on businesses providing services and products people are willing to exchange their money for. It has been just fine in this country without such a rail system. ( excluding the Federal Reserve bubble-bust under Alan Greenspan)

You're full of shit, when you claim to be a fiscal conservative.
I never said I was a fiscal conservative. I said I lean fiscal conservative, Just because we waste a ton of government money on horrible projects, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of good projects. You are oversimplifying business growth strategy. Business growth is best achieved by investing back into the company. Cost savings is not a growth strategy, unless it means you invest those savings back into something. You can invest it in automation to continue to reduce your operating costs, or you can invest it in R&D or adding new plants of stores. Cost savings and then hoarding those savings is NOT a growth strategy.

This is the problem with America today. We used to have world-leading products and innovations. Today, we've fell behind in so many industries. Part of that is because government has increased the cost of doing business, the other part is that executives are hoarding cash that should be invested back into the business. The common them in both is that they are not investing in long-term things that will improve their status in perpetuity. A machine that improves your efficiency for 20 years shouldn't be viewed as an expense. It should be viewed as an investment.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:58 PM   #109
chiefzilla1501 chiefzilla1501 is offline
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Originally Posted by Aries Walker View Post
It's not just Midwesterners. Americans in general love our cars. The whole image of hopping in your convertible, yanking your tie loose, and hitting the open road while Steppenwolf blares is a national characteristic.

But yes, as someone who commutes through DC traffic every day, and had a 90-minute-each-way commute for five years, it is thoroughly exhausting.
Agreed, and given the demands of our work week plus having a family, there is a lot to be said for getting that 90 minutes to just squeeze in a nap or to play with the internet or e-mail or text friends or read a book.

We have become a nation of multi-tasking. I don't think people enjoy their cars as much as they used to, because there is so much stuff you can do now in a car that you couldn't do 10 years ago, and you just can't do most of those things when your'e driving.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #110
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Ive been on the acela express several times to go up to Boston. that train goes about 150mph I believe. but the track its on has no straight a ways until Rhode island, then he really guns it. whats the point of building fast trains first, and then building fast tracks years later? and amtrak doesn't know why its a failure?
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:45 PM   #111
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:02 PM   #112
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4) Fourth and finally... especially in the midwest, it expands opportunity. Businesses pay a lot of money to recruit top talent, and it's often a hard selling point when you're isolated. Again, I pointed to a person who lives in Chicago and commutes from Milwaukee because his wife refused to live in Milwaukee. The midwest is thriving with business opportunity. Having access like this really expands the attractiveness of this rail, especially if you're talking about an upper midwest or southeast market.
I predict that this last point, the expansion of opportunities for couples to work in different metro areas is going to be one of the reasons why high-speed rail will end up being a GDP-enhancing proposition on net for Californians. California has extremely high-priced real estate clusters around the big cities but in other places the weather is great and the real estate isn't as expensive. With high speed rail making it feasible for each partner to get to different metro areas in a couple of hours, I expect it to lead to some economic development for a lot of the areas that are currently being ridiculed as being in the middle of nowhere.
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